A certificate of title, also commonly known as a “pink slip,” is an official document that is issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and is considered an essential part of owning any motor-powered vehicle, as it establishes the legal ownership of the motor vehicle.
Since a zero turn lawnmower has four wheels and uses a motor engine, some people might wonder “do zero-turn mowers have titles?” The short answer is no, but we’ll cover the question in full detail, so keep reading.
In today’s article, we’ll provide you with a brief guide that answers this question and shows you how to identify zero-turn mowers ownership. So without further ado, let’s jump right in!
Do Zero Turn Mowers Have Titles?
Zero turn mowers don’t have titles because they don’t comply with the specifications of the DMV to establish the requirement.
Instead, zero-turn mowers are treated like owned items, and the method to identify them is through the model and serial numbers in your sales receipt.
When you buy a zero turn mower, your sales receipt will also mention the details of the specific one that you’ve purchased, such as the serial number of the mower as well as the brand and the model number.
The serial number of each zero turn mower is unique and specific to every single one. They’re made of 11 numbers and often start with 53, 17, 14, or 13 as identification to mowers. You can find the mower’s serial number under the seat pan of a zero turn lawnmower.
You can also find the serial number and model number on the identification tag that is found at the top right corner of most mower models.
Since the numbers on the zero turn mower match the numbers in your sale’s receipt, you can establish ownership of the item.
Why Are Titles Important Anyway?
You might be wondering why titles are that important. First, a title guarantees your ownership of a vehicle.
For example, if you buy a used zero turn mower, how can you prove that you’re the legal owner of it. Similarly, if the mower is stolen, how can you claim it as yours and report the theft to authorities.
That’s where titles hop in for the rescue and clear up the situation, as the person who has their name in the title will be the legal owner of the mower.
How to Prove Ownership of a Zero Turn Mower
As previously mentioned, proving ownership of the zero turn mower is quite essential to settle disputes over the mower and allow you to buy and sell a zero turn mower through legal channels.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways that you can use to prove your ownership of the zero turn mower.
#1 Using the Bill of Sale
As previously mentioned, your bill of sale is easily the most convenient method of proving your ownership of the mower.
When you buy a new zero turn mower, you’ll get a receipt that includes all the information that proves your ownership of the mower. However, if you’re buying a used zero turn mower, the seller won’t necessarily hand you a bill of sale.
For that reason, always make sure to request one and that you get the original bill of sale from the seller. Also, make sure that you keep the receipt and any transaction documents in a file organizer in a safe, dry place for when you need them.
#2 Using the Serial Number
If the zero turn mower is old and doesn’t have a bill of sale, the most viable option you can consider is to find out your mower’s serial and model number and keep it somewhere safe. This way, you’ll be able to provide them to your local authorities if your mower is stolen.
In both cases, you can also ask the seller to write the bill of sale on a postcard. Then mail it to your address to have a dated proof of your purchase and that you’re the new owner.
#3 Contact a Registered Notary to Witness the Signing of the Sale Contract
A notary is a public service officer that the government authorizes to legalize and confirm the integrity of any contract by acting as a legal witness of the signing of official documents.
One of the objectives of a notary is to witness and claim the legitimacy of any sale transaction of property.
For that reason, whether you have the original bill of sale or not, always make sure to have your signatures notarized if you’re buying a used zero turn mower.
How to Protect Your Zero Turn Mower from Getting Stolen
Since most of us will keep our zero turn mowers outside, they’re susceptible to theft. But luckily, there are plenty of ways to prevent that from happening. This section will take a closer look at some of those methods.
1. Store the Mower in a Safe Spot
The first thing you need to do to secure your zero turn mower is to keep it inside a locked shed or a garage where it’s difficult to access the mower.
For a better level of security, we also recommend that you use chains and padlocks to secure your mower.
2. Never Leave the Key on the Mower
If your zero-turn mower works by keys or remote device, avoid the temptation of simply leaving them on the mower for quick access.
Instead, store them inside your house or in your keychain, making it much more difficult to move the mower.
3. Install Alarms on the Mower
There are plenty of alarm devices available that you can install on a mower. Similar to car and bike alarms, these systems will alert you if the mower is moved from its place, even when it’s not operating.
4. Use GPS Trackers
Additionally, many homeowners will also install a GPS tracking device on the mower, which allows you to instantly locate the mower when you can’t find it.
What to Do if Your Zero Turn Mower is Lost or Stolen
The previously mentioned tips will help you protect your lawnmower from theft. However, if that happens, the first thing you want to do is report the stolen machine to the local authorities and make sure that you bring all documents that prove your ownership of the mower.
It would also be very helpful to the local police if you already have a picture of the model you have so they can search for it easily.
Next, if you have any GPS or alarms installed on the device, make sure to let them know so that the authorities can use them to speed up the process of finding the mower.
Finally, if you’ve insured your zero turn mower against theft, you can report that it has been stolen to either receive a new mower or claim the value of the mower, depending on your insurance policy.
As you can see, zero turn mowers don’t have titles, and you won’t have to worry about issuing one as long as you still own the bill of sale or receipt of your mower.
Since your bill of sale is your only way to claim your ownership of the mower, make sure that you ask for it when you’re buying a used mower and keep it in a safe place for when you need it.